November 28, 2017 / 10:51 PM / in 17 days

Britain's May heads to Middle East

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to the Middle East this week to lend her support to economic reforms in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, her spokesman said.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, London, November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Her trip comes as Britain is looking for new relationships around the world, to replace those it will lose after it quits the European Union in a little more than a year.

She will meet Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, where she will also discuss the crisis in Yemen and the dispute in Qatar. In Jordan, she will meet King Abdullah and Prime Minister Hanu Mulki.

The London Stock Exchange is competing now to host part of Saudi Aramco’s [IPO-ARMO.SE] initial public offering. Britain said this month it would provide $2 billion in credit guarantees to the energy company so it can buy British goods more easily.

On Tuesday, British foreign minister Boris Johnson hosted officials from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and the United States to discuss humanitarian aid in Yemen, where aid agencies have complained about a port blockade.

Aid agencies say it has worsened the crisis in Yemen where war has left an estimated 7 million people facing famine and killed more than 10,000 people.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Larry King

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